So I don't know a whole lot about wheels but need to get a set for my MTB tourer. I was thinking of a Rhyno-Lite wheelset, since that seems to be a common setup, but the only prebuilt 36h versions I've found online are from Harris Cyclery & they don't have them in black, which I want. There are plenty of 32h sets around for as little as $70 (w/Deore hubs and the 20% Nashbar discount). There are 36h Ditch Witch wheelsets at Nashbar for super cheap, too, but I don't know how suited they are for touring. I hear everyone say how you should get hand-built wheels but most of the LBS around here just want to order them from QBP, or wherever, anyway. Would it make any sense to buy a cheaper machine built wheel (for 1/3 the cost of the custom wheels) and then have checked for trueness locally (or learn how to do it myself) or should I just pony up a couple hundred dollars more for the extra 4 spokes and hand-built? I'm trying to be frugal with my buildup but will spend the money where I need to. What do you all think?
They have the Rhyno-Lite XL rims and the Mavic F519 for about the same price. Any opinions on one over the other? I appreciate the help since I'm getting very sick of all this shopping and want to get the bike on the road!
I think at your weight Macha you could easily go with a 32 spoke wheel especially with a Sun Rhyno rim. I been riding with a pair of 32 spoke xt/ rhyno wheels ( from nashbar)on my rigid MTB with my weight of nearly 200 lbs for nearly two years without any problems other than a slight re-truing of the rear this spring. I have no personal experience with the mavic 519, I did read a complaint on another forum that claimed the 519 on thier bike was developing stress cranks around some of the spokes. I have never heard anyone else make this claim so I would probaly question it's validity.
I usually build my own wheels but I have to say the two sets of machine built wheels I have ( Nashbar on my MTB and Wheelsmith on my tandem) have never given me any problems.
A wheel with any amount of spokes could be trouble if not built properly. That said, I think 36 spokes in a 26" wheel are overkill. Yes, if all else is equal, 36 spokes will be stronger but Nancy and I have been using old Mavic rims and 32 spokes with high load weights and haven't had any problems yet. Go with the wheels that are built best.